Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced this week that he has filed suit against Facebook for collecting biometric data without consent from millions of Texans, which is a violation of state law.
Paxton held a press conference Monday accusing the Big Tech giant of “storing millions of biometric identifiers.” These identifiers are defined as a retina scan, iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry through media uploaded to the platform.
“In violating the law, one of the things Facebook did was not disclose to consumers that they were capturing their biometric identifiers, particularly facial geometry,” Paxton said.
By law, Facebook was obligated to disclose such information, but failed to do so. Instead, the media platform released the private information to third parties and failed to destroy the identifiers in a reasonable time, the lawsuit states.
Facebook vowed last November to stop using facial recognition on the platform, however Meta, the parent company, failed to guarantee the same for other Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, or Reality Labs/metaverse applications.
The tech giant recently settled a similar class action lawsuit pertaining to biometric privacy.
If Paxton wins his lawsuit, Facebook could be ordered to pay a penalty of $25,000 per violation.
“Facebook will no longer take advantage of people and their children with the intent to turn a profit at the expense of one’s safety and well-being,” Paxton pledged. “This is yet another example of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices and it must stop. I will continue to fight for Texans’ privacy and security.”